Happy Sunday folks.
Lets start by saying computer models have not been that great this winter beyond a few days out which is a common problem in El Nino winters since much of the energy comes from the Pacific Ocean where there is little data input. Many times a week out the models said there would be a snow storm in the Northeast only to have rain. But the pattern these last couple weeks of January was the favored period in our year-ahead forecast based on statistics and 24 climate cycles to bring a stormy pattern and 2 of 3 short range models (GFS, Euro) agree (Canadian does not). That said, here's a breakdown of the 3 systems to watch. This is a fast moving progressive pattern so nothing really slows down as systems race across the U.S. and keep on moving out into the Atlantic Ocean. This should keep these storms in the moderate to heavy snow category (4-12" range) and not a mega Nor'easter (1-3 feet) as the systems traverse mainly Southwest to East Northeast and not right up the East Coast.
Storm #1 (21st Thursday - 23rd Saturday)looks to develop in Arkansas around the 21st. Snow-Mixed precip likely from Missouri to Kentucky on the northern fringe of the storm. By the 22nd the storm moves over West Virginia with a band of moderate toheavy snowy from Southern Illinois to Connecticut. The storm moves well off the New Jersey coast by the 23rd with moderate to heavy snow possible from Central Virginia throughout the coastal big cities from DC to Boston for the first accumulating snow storm of the season. So, East Coast it appears the Friday to Saturday time-frame is your period to watch for snow. The West Coast will get 5" rain totals from Northern California to coastal Washington the 17th-23rd.
Storm #2(24th Sunday - 29th Friday) will come from the West Coast around the 24th with the energy diving down toward Texas by the 26th. The storm will take a slightly more southerly track and head toward North Georgia around the 27th with snow from Southern Illinois to West Virginia and then off the Virginia coast by the 28th. Snow on the 28th would be possible from Ohio to Northern New Jersey into New England. California again gets pounded with more heavy rain around the 28th with 1" rain as far south as Bakersfield CA and widespread 3-4" up the entire West Coast.
Storm #3 (30th Saturday - 31st Sunday) looks to be more of a Midwest event with a storm developing in Kansas and taking an inland track toward the Northern Great Lakes. This would bring heavy snow from West Kansas throughout much of the North Central U.S., Upper Midwest and Great Lakes but an overrunning snow quickly changing to rain in the Northeast.
So, a lot to watch and yes models will change 4 times a day but the overall pattern at least appears more favorable for folks from Kentucky to Massachusetts to get some moderate to possibly heavy snow later this week and then heavy snow in the last week of the month for the entire mountain West, Midwest, Great Lakes and interior New England...more likely to be rain in the big cities.
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Keep you posted. - Capt Kirk out.